There’s nothing like bonding over an activity that the whole family can do together – showing horses happens to be something that husband and wife Dan and Cori Vokoun of Buckshot Farms, along with their twins Alex and Reagan, love to do. Their passion for showing was evident at this year’s Scottsdale Show where all four of them won championships. I loved that the whole family is involved with horses and decided to ask the matriarch of the family, Cori, more about their experiences showing.
SS: How long has your family been involved with horses? Has it always been Arabians?
Cori: We started with Arabians in 1986, which was out of pure luck. I wanted a horse so badly, so we asked around to friends we knew with horses and they happened to be Arabian horse breeders. The rest took off from there. We started breeding our own horses in 1994 and have been breeding every year since. Currently we raise Arabians, Half Arabians, and Quarter Horses. Dan, Alex, Reagan and I show, and we share horses and a variety of disciplines. We had a great Scottsdale this year, with all of us winning championships.
SS: Besides showing, how are horses apart of your daily life?
Cori: We ride for fun, especially the kids. They love to have what we call a “free day” where they can mess around and play on their horses. In addition to showing, we love watching the babies grow up, evaluating them at different stages, planning future breedings, etc.
SS: What is your favorite horse show memory?
Cori: In 2004, we had an English Pleasure filly, BSF Electra, that we had bred and brought to U.S. Nationals. She was barely ready and we almost didn’t bring her. Peter Stachowski agreed to catch ride her for us. I remember sitting in the stands with my parents waiting for the class to start and we had no idea if she was going to be the best or the worst in the English Pleasure futurity class. She came through the gate looking fantastic. She got better and better as the class went on and won unanimously! That class was so amazing because of the amazement, surprise, and joy we experience together in the stands. It was such a huge accomplishment for our family to breed a horse of that caliber, have her win, and watch it together.
SS: Do you have any good luck rituals before showing?
Cori: In reining, I have a few. If my dad is at the show, he asks me, “Do you know the pattern?” It used to frustrate me, but now it’s just part of the pre-show ritual for good luck. If Dan and I show together, we tell each other “Shake and Bake Baby!” (A reference to the movie Talladega Nights)
SS: What is your favorite Show Season garment?
Cori: My new reining shirts are great – they are perfect for both Arabian and NRHA shows.
My husband, Dan, loves his sand suede chaps. There’s a funny story about those. Patti called me one day and said “Dan’s chaps are ready.” I had no idea what she was talking about – apparently he ordered them and didn’t want me to know. I was so happy to learn the new boundaries in our marriage about Show Season… Just order whatever you want, no need to discuss it! They are really cool chaps, and look great. So, I ordered some for myself shortly after. We both get compliments on our chaps, especially at NRHA events.
I love my daughter Reagan’s new hunt coat. It is stunning.
SS: What are your plans for the rest of this show season?
Cori: The kids will be in full force at Youth Nationals with a string of walk/trot horses. Dan and I will show in the fall at the High Roller Reining Classic, U.S. Nationals, and the NRHA Futurity. We will focus on pleasure horses at the Arabian shows and lots of Quarter Horse reining this year.
Thank you for letting Show Season be a part of your family’s journey and best of luck to Cori, Dan, Alex and Reagan the rest of 2016!